Recently, at a court case I was questioned by a smart alec barrister about my adherence to ACPO Guidelines when undertaking a course of action. It got me thinking; during the evidence giving actually; apparently I can multi-task even though I am not a woman and I was later to find that my iPhone app gave me an IQ of 165. The thinking was, “Who put ACPO in charge?”
The fact that my application for a subscriber check on a mobile telephone wasn’t in a size 12 Arial font has bugger all to do with ACPO so why do they make the rules and issue them as ACPO Guidelines allowing barristers to make an issue out of nothing (I know ACPO haven’t actually made a rule such as this, but you get the point!).
As I stood there considering whether to tell the Barrister to mind his own business and stick to the issues at hand namely the baddie over there was a serious criminal and shove the question up his expensive backside, half expecting the Prosecuting barrister to jump and ask the Judge for a relevance ruling, I suddenly and inexplicably blurted out the correct answer in considerable, magnificient and incontravertible detail. I have never seen a crest fall so far, stammering a couple of times, he began to suffer “Dock Asthma.” This is the suddenly inability to breathe when you have your legs taken from under you during a court interrogation. You know the sight, a grown man opening and closing his mouth like a goldfish out of water looking like he is gasping for breath.
When did ACPO start making the law of the land or the law of police? When did the courts start expecting officers to comply with ACPO Guidelines instead of the law? Consider that the first ACPO Guideline issued after months and months of high level meetings at Bramshill was:
- ACPO Policy and Guidelines are never wrong and cannot be challenged even by common sense and legislation.
- Even when ACPO Policy and Guidelines are proven to be a crock of sh1t, refer to no. 1
This is the classic problem of putting ACPO in charge of the decision making when it comes to Misconduct. What they need is for a few Fed Reps to embarrass them in the Misconduct Process but showing them where their uPSD have gone wrong, which they promptly ignore, and apply a sanction which is so far away from the true representation of the officer’s breach. Of course, the likelihood is that the uPSD will have worded them up as to the real culpability of the accused officer even though they couldn’t quite get the evidence.
But surely it couldn’t happen. I was once present when a senior uPSD officer indicated that he applied the doctrine that if an officer or a member of the public has nothing to gain by coming forward and giving a statement then they must be telling the truth. It would be laughable but for the fact that it is frightening. Don’t get me wrong, there are occasions where they let people off in the face of overwhelming evidence but I suspect these are token gestures. I think it is important that ACPO officers on panels understand that “on the balance of probabilities” means that there is a more than 50% chance that the accused officer has done it.
It is the same for random drug testing. The amount of money thrown at this useless excercise to monitor the level of drug abuse amongst cops. In my force after tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds we have still to have a positive hit. ACPO must be very disappointed because we are all clean living and drug free! It just shows the warped sense of being they have and it shows what they really think of you and me and shows why they should not be put in charge.
Have you heard enough or should I bang on about another marvellous ACPO policy namely Special Priority Payments? They wanted them and were told they were divisive and impossible to administer. Now they don’t want them because they are divisive and impossible to administer.
These are the people in charge of our police! You know what is really laughable? They are a private limited company!!